This is another great guest post by my wife, Amber Passini, and it is specifically geared toward female readers. In a world that sexualizes and pornifies everything, she directly addresses the issue of modesty and female empowerment. Give it a read and share your comments below.
I’ve debated long and hard on writing this. Simply because I knew if I went down this path, there might be repercussions. Lost friends, angry hate mail, and violent vitriol would be my future companions.
But I won’t let the condemnation of the world lead me away from Christ’s call to action and truth.
Every day I open up social media. And it doesn’t matter if it’s Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or another program, it’s all the same: women with no clothes on. Women posting in suggestive postures. Women, who actually aren’t even women just yet. Still teenagers. Selling sex for likes online.
It’s a disturbing trend. And no one is immune to it. As someone who’s been in the fitness industry for years, that is what is pushed constantly.
Think I’m blowing this out of proportion? I had judges at my shows inform me that getting breast augmentation would help me place better.
That shooting photo shoots with certain photographers would get me closer to the “good old boy’s club.” That becoming “friendly” with judges would improve my placings.
And by friendly, you can make your own assumptions. Because any and all of them are correct.
I saw a post on Instagram that I want to connect with you in regards to this trend and the “why” behind it.
A young woman in her early twenties (she happens to be a popular figure in cosplay) expressed that exposure (nudity) on social media was to some women a form of empowerment. To other women, modesty was.
And no matter what you chose to do, women who are empowered to be naked online shouldn’t be made to feel bad by women who are empowered by modesty to not expose themselves and vice versa. That each group should mutually support the other in whatever endeavor the other chooses.
Let’s pause for a moment.
If you look up the definition of empowerment, it means to
make (someone) stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights.” It also means “authority or power given to someone to do something.”
What I’m sensing from these women, who truly believe that nudity is empowering, is that they have been conditioned to believe this is what gives them worth. They’ve been conditioned by a society that welcomes it, and craves it.
Somehow, likes on social media have translated into personal self-worth in our realities. Women begin to feel what they believe is “empowerment” from exposure with every thumb’s up they receive. It becomes a “high” that constantly needs to be fed, refreshing the browser to see if we get more approval for our posts.
Before we had the world at our fingertips, we maybe interacted (in person) with 10-30 people a day. Now, we are plugged into millions with the touch of a button and the lure of an enticing social media hook.
As much as we try to deny it, part of social media is attention seeking. We want to share things with the world that we value and hold dear. The more likes we get, the more we are encouraged to live unveiled to the world.
How exactly does nudity empower us?
Truly, it enslaves us to the masses. It promotes a culture of disrespect, dishonor, and pornography. All the things we claim as Christians to abhor, we willfully participate in. We have glamorized sex by exposing ourselves online.
We choose to be objectified by the content we produce. And we have the audacity to wonder why our society continues to see a culture of shame towards women.
I see it daily in the fitness world; women post “Child of God” in their bios and have nude images scattered throughout their profile. What kind of testimony is this to the world around us? What kind of hypocrisy are we promoting in the Body of Christ?
I believe we have failed the women and teenagers in our society by making this socially acceptable; we’ve encouraged this behavior and essentially confirmed that in order to be valued, you have to be exposed.
This is a learned behavior, folks. Somewhere along the way, we told women (directly or inadvertently) that to be a strong, poised, self confidant woman meant we had to get naked online.
That their intellect, contributions, and abilities were reduced to string bikinis and barbwire. Lord, I hate that my sisters have been so lonely and bereft of your Presence that this is where they found a false joy.
Ladies, you know what is empowering? Knowing that my self-worth, value, confidence, strength, and honor all come from Christ and not my body. His atonement made me holy. No amount of likes on this earth can replicate that effect.
We don’t need vindication via Facebook that we are “liked, loved, or any other emoji” that voices approval. God gave us His approval through His Son.
Feelings are not facts; we seek temporal satisfaction when there’s a well we could drink from that never runs dry (See John 4: 13-14 NASB).
We should be seeking to promote and encourage modesty. Romans 14:13-23 tells us “not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way.” It goes on to say that “we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.”
We know our country has a pornography problem.
Do you believe a suggestive photo wouldn’t be a stumbling block to a man who deals with the sin of pornography?
We have to take responsibility for the choices we make; when our empowerment comes at the cost of someone’s walk in the Lord, can you really justify it as a means of empowerment?
I think if you search your heart, and ask the Lord to reveal your motives, the answer would be telling.
Ask yourself this—is what I’m wearing (or not wearing in this case) pointing people to the Lord?
Am I acting in love by posting this (and no, self-love doesn’t count)?
If the answer is no, then sisters, it is time to remind ourselves of the task at hand. Living in this world as a disciple of Christ:
- Will mean at many times living inconspicuously.
- It means taking the promotion of self to the cross, and letting it pass away.
- It means coming to terms with hurts from the past that led you to believe this was the only way.
- It means allowing the Lord to change and renew your mind; to be set free from the lies the enemy made you believe were true.
- It means forging a community of men and women who hold each other accountable, encourage one another, and build one another up in the Lord.
- It means taking a stand against the world system–living our testimonies out loud as a witness to His Eternal Purpose and Plan.
Ladies, we can do this together.
We can support and promote modesty to a world that is sensationalized by smut.
We can be empowered by Christ, because He is empowerment personified and He indwells every believer. What a Christ!
We can change the culture of this world, one post at a time.
It starts with me. And you. Let’s get to work.